I’ve been fighting the dreaded pitch process. No, Paladin isn’t finished, but I entered a pitch exercise at Bookends and now I am trying to figure out how to do it well. It should be easy to write a few lines, summing up what the book is about. Well, it isn’t.
It doesn’t help that I, apparently, don’t know who to write a nice, simple plot. I don’t intentionally do it, it just happens.
In the first incarnation of Paladin, there was no eccentric wizard and his shape-shifting wife. I had to figure out a way to get Gen in court to interact with Timmons the holy man. Saerowyn and Melith popped in one day and tied up the loose ends. They not only took care of that problem, but they also became prominent players, who have helped gel several subplots.
I know there will be a scene down the road where Melith and Gen have to escape some assassins. My enchanted, flying jars showed up earlier and I wasn’t quite sure what they were for. Then one day it dawned on me the jars are what makes the escape possible.
In working more on the “show don’t tell” aspect of writing, I was redoing chapter 34. Instead of just having her read a poster about a singing festival at the pub, the shopkeepers, where she is buying supplies, talk to her about it. In the process, they discuss some herbs she has been gathering on the mountain and ask if she has found any blind root. Whoa, didn’t see that one coming, but it’s perfect. There is the second element to the escape. Nait, the shopkeeper, also mentions a sack of corn the mice have gnawed open. Not sure what that has to do with anything or if it does, but it feels like one of those things that will be important later to tie up a loose end. If it doesn’t, I will delete it. I’m not big on dropping lines just to fill up a page.
Perhaps when the book is completely finished I will understand what it’s about enough to pitch it. For now, I don’t have a clue and I should, since I know what is going to happen, I just haven’t written it.
I think Barbara Rogan’s workshop is going to help a lot. I hope so.